Gonzales City Council discuss YMCA partnership, approves waste services from Frontier


The Gonzales City Council met for its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, April 11 at Gonzales City Hall.

One of the main topics of discussion was a proposed partnership between the YMCA Gonzales and the city; many members of the YMCA Gonzales board were present, including former mayor Connie Kacir, who is the YMCA Gonzales president.

“The YMCA is excited to be in Gonzales and serve the children of our community. The opportunity is one many cities could only dream of having,” said Adriane Hastings. “The YMCA is here to benefit our city by benefiting the future of the children it serves. A YMCA changes the lives of children by teaching them strong virtues of character, increasing literacy with educational mentoring, and building self-confidence and self-esteem.”

Vince Ortiz, the Gonzales Center manager for Victoria College and a member of the YMCA Gonzales board, spoke to the council about the impact the YMCA has had on him and on people from surrounding communities.

“The Y is a very special place in my heart, because I know the benefits those services provide. My grandson is a participant of the Y in his town. And I've seen how it has been beneficial to him. The Y he was attending actually had daycare service, so my daughter was able to use those services for my grandson.” Ortiz said.

Kacir and executive director Lauren Harris gave a presentation to the council about the upcoming Gonzales YMCA Summer Camp and Kacir asked the city to consider partnering with the YMCA by contributing $21,270 that is already “currently budgeted” by the city for recreation.

“By doing so, you continue the great legacy that you started investing in Gonzales city youth. When we work together as a community leveraging resources, programs and funds, we’re able to do greater work and we see greater results. The benefits you gain in this partnership include no fiscal impact to your current budget, since the $21,270 is already budgeted,” Kacir said.

“The city's contribution to the YMCA is critical to fund children who are unable to attend the program without a full scholarship. Many times it is the children that are in need of the full scholarship who benefit most from the YMCA,” Kacir added.

In other council business, the council discussed the solid waste collection for the city and co-founder Tim Henderson of Frontier Access spoke to them about their services and making it better for residents.

“I'd like to thank you all for the business over the last four and a half years and I believe it's been a pretty good partnership between us and the city, and thank you for allowing us to be here,” Henderson said.

Henderson sent a new proposal to City Manager Tim Crow to renew the contract with a few changes he added.

In the existing contract with the city, Henderson said they have two 40-yard roll off containers that will get hauled once a year, and in the new proposed contract, they are offering to haul 12 30 cubic yards annual with no additional charge.

“We just kind of ran some numbers on some of the stable matter that's been piling up down there. And we figured this would take care of a pretty large chunk of that on a regular basis,” Henderson said.

Henderson said at the last meeting, he had a Gonzales resident that did not understand how the roll-offs work, he said.

“I get a lot of requests from a lot of our cities, where residents can’t afford a roll-off. And so what we are proposing is to exempt the residential, temporary roll-off services in the city from the exclusive franchise grant. So what that would do is, say, we're needed a roll off into his house, but he doesn't need 20 or 30, or 40, what we is what we offer, he could call in, Ace roll off and get a 10 yarder at his house, and he wouldn't be in violation of the city's franchise agreement.” Henderson said.

Henderson added that permanent businesses, like large construction companies, would still fall under the exclusive franchise grant.

Regarding bulk pickup, in the current contract, Frontier collects bulk pickup once a year, up to five cubic yards per resident, Henderson said in the proposed contract, residents can now do four bulk pickups per year — about two cubic yards per collection — for no additional charge.

“This basically gives each resident the opportunity to get rid of their items a lot quicker. Right now they have to save up all year, and then call in and request the bulk pickup. What this would do is it would allow him to call in four times a year, get rid of a pile that's a little smaller, but he doesn't have to sit around and let it accumulate,” Henderson said.

Council member Lorenzo Hernandez spoke about concerns regarding residential roll-offs for developers and contractors.

“My concerns are developers and contractors. There have been an excessive amount, even though you're trying to convince me that you're giving the city money back. That's not helping the developer or the contractor. That's actually taking more money from them and we want to bring them in to work with them, not to charge them excessive amounts of money,” Hernandez said.

The council approved, 4-1, to approved the city manager to renegotiate in an agreement with Frontier Access, LLC.

The council had had other presentations, including a quarterly report by the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture and one about a proposed dog park by Jennifer Teager. The council is expressing interest in the possibility of developing a Gonzales dog park.

The council approved the follow agenda items:

--approved Authorizing the CityManager to execute an Encroachment Agreement with Clyde Hinton for a property located at 302 Botts Street.

--approved Authorizing the funding to the Wine Country Festival LLC. dba Cattle Country Fest in an amount of ($20,000 to be used for promotion of the arts that directly enhance tourism and the Hotel & Convention Industry and $20,000 to be used for advertising, solicitations and promotions that attracttourists) for the 2024 Cattle County Music Festival to be held April 12-14, 2024.

--approved and updating the Gonzales Economic Development Administrative Assistant job description and position classification for Fiscal Year 2023-2024.

--approved Authorizing a Variance to Section 8.603 Sale of Alcoholic Beverages within 300 Feet of Certain Places for 510 St. Paul Street (The Lynn Theater).